Equity Crowd Funding in 2014?

The game design industry won’t see Equity Crowd Funding until 2014…  At the earliest.  Crowdfunding.org projects a best case time frame for the 10 steps between where we are today and active Equity Crowd Funding in the U.S.  This is, however, the federal government we’re taking about here.

There is a reason that is good, and a reason that is bad.  On one hand the timing gives another year of practice making, and studying donation based crowd funding.  In general that practice should be very helpful for anyone who wants to be good at Equity Crowd Funding later.

The bad news is that is an awfully long time in the market.  The excitement over crowd funding could be well over by then.  Interest could be less, and dollar amounts could be smaller.  People could be used to being sold idea’s instead of products, and maybe even bored with it.

What do you think of Equity Crowd Funding?  Tell me in the comments below.

Ownership and investing.

As a complicated person with many ideas, knowledge and experience I have an odd view point on investing in companies.  If we were to sit down and talk one on one about how to go about investing for retirement  for profit, etc. it would quickly become apparent that I am a fan of Jack Bogle.  Keep expenses low, use EFTS, re-balance every year, etc.  Invest in Exchange Traded Funds and understand regression to the mean.

Likewise as a business major I have strong opinions on when, why, and how to take companies public.  You don’t.  Companies perform better when they are private organizations.  People take companies public because they think they’ll make boatloads of money. Let’s relate this to the game industry.  Facebook and Zynga have both had tons of problems after going public.

But I’m very interested in equity crowd funding.  The JOBS Act signed this past April, although completely up in the air, promises to allow sites like kickstart to do more then just take donations for projects.  Right now you can’t buy ownership in a copy.  You pledge funds and if they meet a goal you get swag.  Equity crowd funding means those pledges buy you ownership of the project or company.  Exactly what I would talk you out of as an investor.

This is the central heart of the debate about allowing equity crowd funding.  Being a registered rep and business major there will come a time when I’ll someday be involved with asking gamers to help build a game by purchasing ownership in a project or company.  At the moment I’m not sure how to resolve asking for someone to buy equity when I wouldn’t advise them to make that purchase if the shoe was on the other foot.

This is all academic moral questioning right now…  But at some point this will have to get sorted out.  Not just by me, but by everyone.